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  • Aoeur'gny
  • Aurigny
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: God Save the Queen  (official)
Location of Alderney (red) in relation to Guernsey.
Location of Alderney (red) in relation to Guernsey.
Capital St. Anne
Official languages English
Recognised regional languages Auregnais
 -  Duke Queen Elizabeth II
 -  Head of Government Stuart Trought
Legislature States of Alderney
Part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey
(British crown dependency)
 -  Administrative separation from mainland Normandy
 -  estimate 1,903[1]
Currency Pound sterlinga (GBP)
Time zone GMT
 -  Summer (DST)  (UTC+1)
Calling code +44 1481
Internet TLD .gg  (Guernsey)
a. Local coinage is issued, including the pound note (see Alderney pound).
1890 map of Alderney and adjacent islands

Alderney (; French: Aurigny ; Auregnais: Aoeur'gny) is the most northerly of the Channel Islands. It is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency. It is 3 miles (5 km) long and 1 12 miles (2.4 km) wide. The area is 3 square miles (8 km2), making it the third-largest island of the Channel Islands, and the second largest in the Bailiwick. It is around 10 miles (15 km) to the west of La Hague on the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, in France, 20 miles (30 km) to the north-east of Guernsey and 60 miles (100 km) from the south coast of Great Britain. It is the closest of the Channel Islands to both France and the United Kingdom. It is separated from Cap de la Hague by the dangerous Alderney Race (French: Raz Blanchard).

As of April 2013, the island has a population of 1,903 people and they are traditionally nicknamed vaques[2] after the cows, or else lapins[3] after the many rabbits seen in the island. Formally, they are known as Ridunians, from the Latin Riduna.

The only parish of Alderney is the parish of St Anne, which covers the whole island.

The main town, St Anne, historically known as "La Ville", (or "Town" in English), is often referred to as "St Anne's" by visitors and incomers, but rarely by locals (who, in normal conversation, still most frequently refer to the area centred around Victoria St simply as "Town"). The town's "High St", which formerly had a small handful of shops, is now almost entirely residential, crossing Victoria St at its highest point, forming a T-junction. The town area features an imposing church and an unevenly cobbled main street: Victoria Street (Rue Grosnez – the English name being adopted on the visit of Queen Victoria in 1854. There is a primary school, a secondary school a post office, and hotels, as well as restaurants, banks and shops. Other settlements include Braye, Crabby, Longis, Mannez, La Banquage and Newtown.


  • History 1
    • World War II 1.1
      • War crime trials 1.1.1
    • Since 1945 1.2
  • Politics 2
  • Law 3
    • Legal System 3.1
    • Taxation 3.2
  • Geography and natural history 4
  • Culture 5
    • Language 5.1
    • Sport 5.2
    • Pubs 5.3
    • Broadcasting 5.4
    • Alderney Week 5.5
    • Miss Alderney 5.6
    • Alderney Annual Motor Sprint and Hill climb 5.7
    • Alderney Performing Arts Festival 5.8
    • Alderney Literary Festival 5.9
    • Alderney Stones 5.10
  • Transport 6
  • Healthcare and emergency services 7
    • Ambulance 7.1
    • Fire Service 7.2
    • Police 7.3
    • Lifeboats 7.4
    • Search and rescue 7.5
  • Numismatic history 8
  • In popular culture 9
  • Photos 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
    • Inline 12.1
    • General 12.2
  • External links 13


Alderney shares a history with the other Channel Islands, becoming an island in the Neolithic period as the waters of the Channel rose. Formerly rich in dolmens, like the other Channel Islands, Alderney with its heritage of megaliths has suffered through the large-scale military constructions of the 19th century and also by the Germans during the World War II occupation, who left the remains at Les Pourciaux unrecognisable as dolmens. A cist survives near Fort Tourgis, and Longis Common has remains of an Iron Age site. There are traces of Roman occupation[4] including a fort, built in the late 300s, at above the island's only natural harbour.[5][6]

The etymology of the Island's name is obscure. It is known in Latin as Riduna but as with the names of all the Channel Islands in the Roman period there is a degree of confusion. Riduna may be the original name of Tatihou, while Alderney is conjectured to be identified with Sarnia. Alderney/Aurigny is variously supposed to be a Germanic or Celtic name. It may be a corruption of Adreni or Alrene, which is probably derived from an Old Norse word meaning "island near the coast". Alternatively it may derive from three Norse elements: alda (swelling wave, roller), renna (strong current, race) and öy or -ey (island). Alderney may be mentioned in Paul the Deacon's Historia Langobardorum (I.6) as 'Evodia' in which he discussed a certain dangerous whirlpool. The name 'Evodia' may in turn originate from the seven 'Haemodae' of uncertain identification in Pliny's Natural History (IV 16 (30) or Pomponius Mela's Chronographia (III 6,54).

Along with the other Channel Islands, Alderney was annexed by the Duchy of Normandy in 933. In 1042 William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy (later William the Conqueror, King of the English) granted Alderney to the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. In 1057 the bishop of Coutances took back control of the island.

After 1204, when mainland Normandy was incorporated into the kingdom of France, Alderney remained loyal to the English monarch in his dignity of Duke of Normandy.

Henry VIII of England undertook fortification works, but these ceased in 1554. Essex Castle perpetuates the name of the Earl of Essex, who purchased the governorship of Alderney in 1591. Prior to the Earl's execution for treason in 1601, he leased the island to William Chamberlain, and Alderney remained in the hands of the Chamberlain family until 1643. From 1612, a Judge was appointed to assist the Governor's administration of Alderney, along with the Jurats. The function of the Judge was similar to that of the Bailiffs of Guernsey and Jersey, and continued until 1949.

During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Alderney was held by a Parliamentary garrison under Nicholas Ling, Lieutenant-Governor. Ling built Government House (now the Island Hall). The de Carterets of Jersey acquired the governorship, later passing it to Sir Edmund Andros of Guernsey, from whom the Guernsey family of Le Mesurier inherited it, thus establishing a hereditary line of governors that lasted until 1825.

Henry Le Mesurier prospered through privateering, and moved the harbour from Longis to Braye, building a jetty there in 1736. Warehouses and dwellings were built at Braye, and the export of cattle generated wealth for the economy. The Court House was built in 1770 and a school in 1790. A Methodist chapel was constructed in 1790, following John Wesley's visit in 1787. A telegraph tower was constructed above La Foulère in 1811, enabling signals to be relayed visually to Le Mât in Sark and on to Guernsey - early warning of attack during the Napoleonic Wars was of strategic importance. With the end of those wars privateering was ended and smuggling suppressed, leading to economic difficulties.[4]

The last of the hereditary Governors, John Le Mesurier, resigned his patent to the Crown in 1825, and since then authority has been exercised by the States of Alderney, as amended by the constitutional settlement of 1948.

The British Government decided to undertake massive fortifications in the 19th century and to create a strategic harbour to deter attacks from France.[7] These fortifications were presciently described by William Ewart Gladstone as "a monument of human folly, useless to us ... but perhaps not absolutely useless to a possible enemy, with whom we may at some period have to deal and who may possibly be able to extract some profit in the way of shelter and accommodation from the ruins." An influx of English and Irish labourers, plus the sizeable British garrison stationed in the island, led to rapid Anglicization. The harbour was never completed - the remaining breakwater (designed by James Walker) is one of the island's landmarks, and is longer than any breakwater in the UK.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Alderney on 9 August 1854.[8] The Albert Memorial and the renaming of Rue Grosnez to Victoria Street commemorate this visit.[4]

At the same time as the breakwater was being built in the 1850s, the island was fortified by a string of 13 forts, designed to protect the harbour of refuge. The accommodation quarters of several of the forts have been converted into apartments; two are now private homes; and one, Fort Clonque, at the end of a causeway that can be flooded at high tide, belongs to the Landmark Trust and can be rented for comfortable self-catering holidays for up to thirteen persons. Scenes from the film Seagulls Over Sorrento were shot at Fort Clonque in 1953.

Some of the forts are now in varying stages of dereliction, the most ruined being Les Hommeaux Florains, perched on outlying rocks, its access causeway and bridge having been swept away long ago. Houmet Herbé resembles a Crusader castle with its squat round towers. Like many of the forts it included such apparently anachronistic features as a drawbridge and machicolation, which were still common in military architecture of the period.

World War II

In June 1940 the entire population of Alderney, about 1500 residents, was evacuated. Most went on the official evacuation boats sent from mainland Britain. Some, however, decided to make their own way, mostly via Guernsey, but due to the impending occupation many found themselves unable to leave and were forced to stay on Guernsey for the duration of the war. A few Alderney people elected not to leave Alderney with the general evacuation. However, boats from Guernsey came and collected them before the German Army arrived, on the basis that it was best for their personal safety. During the Second World War, the Channel Islands was the only part of the British Commonwealth occupied by Germany.

The Germans arrived to a deserted island and began to follow the orders to fortify Alderney as part of Hitler's forced labour to build bunkers, gun emplacements, air-raid shelters and concrete fortifications. In 1942, the Lager Norderney camp, containing Russian and Polish POWs, and the Lager Sylt camp, a concentration camp holding Jewish slave labourers, were placed under the control of the SS-Hauptsturmführer Maximilian List. Over 700 of a total inmate population of 6,000 lost their lives before the camps were closed and the remaining inmates transferred to Germany in 1944. On the return to their island, Alderney evacuees had little to no knowledge of the crimes committed on their island during the occupation as by December 1945, the first date civilians could return home, all the slave labourers had been sent away and the majority of the German troops left behind were not senior staff. Evidence, however, was all over the island, with concrete fortifications and graveyards for the prisoners kept there during the occupation.

The Royal Navy blockaded the islands from time to time, particularly following the liberation of Normandy in 1944. Intense negotiations resulted in some Red Cross humanitarian aid, but there was considerable hunger and privation during the five years of German occupation, particularly in the final months when the Germans themselves were close to starvation. The Germans surrendered Alderney on May 16, 1945, eight days after the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, and seven days after the liberation of Guernsey and Jersey. 2,332 German prisoners of war were removed from Alderney on 20 May 1945, leaving 500 Germans to undertake clearing up operations under British military supervision.[9] The population of Alderney was unable to start returning until December 1945 due to the huge cleanup operation that had to take place simply to make the island safe for civilians. When the islanders returned home they were shocked to see the state of Alderney, with many houses completely derelict due to anything wooden, including front doors, having been burned for fuel by the Germans. Archival and object evidence of the general evacuation in 1940 and the subsequent Occupation of Alderney can be found in the Alderney Society Museum.

The four German camps in Alderney have not been preserved or commemorated, aside from a small plaque at the former SS camp Lager Sylt. One camp is now a tourist camping site, while the gates to another form the entrance to the island's rubbish tip. The other two have been left to fall into ruin and become overgrown by brambles.

Documents from the ITS Archives in Germany show prisoners of numerous nationalities were incarcerated in Alderney, with many dying on the island. The causes of death included suicide, pneumonia, being shot, heart failure and explosions.

A series of tunnels also remains in place on Alderney, constructed by forced labour. These are in varying degrees of safety, but are left open to the public and the elements.

War crime trials

After World War II, a court-martial case was prepared against ex-SS Hauptsturmführer Max List (the former commandant of Lagers Norderney and Sylt), citing atrocities on Alderney.[10] However, he did not stand trial, and is believed to have lived near Hamburg until his death in the 1980s.[11]

Since 1945

For two years after the end of World War II, Alderney was operated as a communal farm. Craftsmen were paid by their employers, whilst others were paid by the local government out of the profit from the sales of farm produce. Remaining profits were put aside to repay the British Government for repairing and rebuilding the island. Resentment from the local population towards being unable to control their own land acted as a catalyst for the United Kingdom States of Alderney, the justice system and, for the first time in Alderney, the imposition of taxes. The legislature and judiciary were separated. The position of Judge, which had headed the island's government since the resignation of the last Governor in 1825, was abolished, and the Jurats were removed from their legislative function.[4] As a result of the small population of Alderney, it was believed that the island could not be self-sufficient in running the airport and the Alderney harbour, or providing services that would match those of the UK. Taxes were therefore collected into the general Bailiwick of Guernsey revenue funds at the same rate as in Guernsey, and administered by the States of Guernsey. Guernsey became responsible for providing many governmental functions and services.

The 20th century saw much change in Alderney, from the building of the Alderney Airport in the late 1930s to the death of the last speakers of the island's Auregnais language, a dialect of the Norman language. The economy has gone from depending largely on agriculture to earning money from the tourism and finance industries. E-commerce has become increasingly important, and the island hosts the domain name registry for both Bailiwicks and over a dozen gambling website operators. One of the gambling websites is Full Tilt Poker, which is currently being prosecuted by the US and Canadian governments. Alderney has a full regulatory authority in operation.

As a result of these upheavals and of substantial immigration, the island has been more or less completely anglicised.


The States of Alderney is the legislature of the island; it sends two representatives to the States of Guernsey as well. The origin of the States is unknown, but it has operated from the mediaeval period.

The States of Alderney consists of the President, directly elected every four years, and ten States Members, half elected every two years for a four-year mandate. The President of the States of Alderney is Stuart Trought; in October 2012 he was re-elected for a further four-year period. The whole island is a single constituency.

Until the reform of 1948, the States of Alderney consisted of:

While Alderney enjoys full autonomy in law (except like the other Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, in matters of foreign affairs and defence), under the provisions of a formal agreement (known as "the 1948 Agreement") entered into between the Government of Alderney and the Government of Guernsey, certain matters have been delegated to Guernsey. These are known as 'the transferred services'.

Transferred services include policing, customs and excise, airport operations, health, education, social services, childcare and adoption. (The States of Alderney retains policy control of aviation to and from the Island).

In return for providing the transferred services Guernsey levies various taxes and duties on Alderney.

Immigration is the responsibility of the UK (UK law applies), with day-to-day operations carried out by the Guernsey Border Agency. In addition to the transferred services, both the UK and Guernsey may legislate on other matters with the consent of the States of Alderney.[12]


Legal System

The Court of Alderney exercises unlimited original jurisdiction in civil matters and limited jurisdiction in criminal matters. The Court sits with a Chairman (the Judge of Alderney) and at least three of the six Jurats. Appeals are made to the Royal Court of Guernsey, which also exercises some original jurisdiction in criminal matters in Alderney, and thence to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.[13]


For taxation purposes, Alderney is treated as if it were part of Guernsey.

Geography and natural history

Vegetation of Alderney (cabbage trees)
Les Étacs - gannet colony
Alderney (centre) and Burhou (upper right)
Ortac in the distance, seen from the ferry. Alderney is in the background.
Breakwater by James Walker.

Alderney is similar to the other Channel Islands in having sheer cliffs broken by stretches of sandy beach and dunes. The highest point is on the central plateau of the island at 296 ft.[8]

Its climate is temperate, moderated by the sea, and summers are usually warmer than elsewhere in the British Isles.

Alderney and its surrounding islets support a rich flora and fauna. Trees are rather scarce, as many were cut down in the 17th century to fuel the lighthouses on Alderney and the Casquets. Those trees that remain include cabbage trees, due to the mild climate - often miscalled "palms" but of the lily family), and there are some small woods dotted about the island. Puffins on Burhou and gannets on Les Étacs (popularly called Gannet Rock) just off Alderney are a favourite of many visitors to the island.

About a quarter of Alderney hedgehogs are of the "white" or "blonde" variety, which does not carry fleas.[14] These are not albinos, but descent of rarely met blonde European hedgehogs, with a blonde pair released on the island in the 1960s.[15] The island had its own breed of cattle, called the Alderney. The pure breed became extinct in 1944, but hybrids remain elsewhere, though no longer on Alderney. In August 2005, the west coast of Alderney and associated islands, including Burhou and Ortac, were designated as Ramsar wetlands of international importance. The Alderney Wildlife Trust helps to manage the two nature reserves, at Longis and Vau du Saou.

The island is surrounded by rocks, which have caused hundreds of wrecks. There are treacherous tidal streams on either side of the island: the Swinge between Alderney and Burhou, just outside the harbour, and Le Raz between the island and the Normandy mainland. The Corbet Rock lies in the Swinge.

The geology of Alderney is mostly granites from the Precambrian period.



The language of the island is now English with a few minor variants, constituting Channel Island English.

For centuries the island had its own dialect of the Norman language called Auregnais, now extinct. It was primarily a spoken language, with only a few known poems and written works using it.

French was once widely used on the island, and increasingly replaced Auregnais since the late 19th century, but ceased to be an official language there in 1966. French declined not only from neglect, especially in schools, but also because most of the population was evacuated in the Second World War.

However, there is a strong cultural legacy of both languages in the island: most of the local place-names are in French or Auregnais, as are many local surnames. The pronunciation of various local names is also dialectal, e.g. Dupont as "dip-oh" rather than in the traditional Parisian fashion, and Saye (the name of a beach on the island) as "soy". One or two French/Auregnais words are still in common use, e.g. vraic (seaweed fertiliser).


Royal Aero Club. This involves high-speed circuits round the airfield, lighthouse, Casquets and then back around.

The Alderney Community and Sports Centre is currently planned, with building costing £2.2m and starting in March 2012. This would include a swimming pool, two bowling lanes and facilities within a sports hall for archery, indoor football, indoor tennis and also badminton.


Due in part to the tourist industry but mainly to the Ridunians' own drinking culture (there is a common expression elsewhere in the Channel Islands that Alderney is composed of 'two thousand alcoholics, clinging to a rock'[16]) there are many restaurants and public houses. There is a vibrant and lively nightlife which is enjoyed by many especially in the summer, and informal dance music events often take place in abandoned bunkers ('bunker parties') and more organised events in and around Alderney Week at the Corporation Quarry ('Quarry parties').

It was one of the last places in the British Isles to introduce a smoking ban in pubs, shops, restaurants and other indoor public places (Guernsey, Jersey, the UK, and the Isle of Man all having outlawed this already). The States of Alderney passed the anti-smoking legislation with the President's casting vote on 13 January 2010; the legislation came into force at 4am on 1 June 2010.[17]

The island has an ageing population and is popular with people wanting somewhere quiet to retire. Because it is quiet and secluded, Alderney has attracted some famous residents, including authors Dame Julie Andrews, and Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew.


Alderney has its own radio station, QUAY-FM, which broadcasts on 107.1 and online. Initially it only operated at seasonal highpoints such as the summer Alderney Week festival, but from 2015 it has broadcast 24 hours a day. It features local news and interviews, music, news from Sky and overnight broadcasting from BBC World Service.

Alderney Week

Alderney Week is the island's annual summer festival, beginning the Saturday before the first Monday of August. Each year the organisers pick a different theme. It features:

  • The first Saturday begins with a parade and children's sports day. There is a disco on the green and a Quarry Party starting at 11pm with a Woodstock theme. People dress in costume or just in wacky clothes.
  • The Sunday is the day of a traditional street market. A mixture of traditional toffee apples and bric-à-brac is laid out up and down the main street. Clothes, ice-creams, sweets and jewellery are all sold from tables in the street, and with dancing by the KFA, the Miss Holiday Princess Competition and live entertainment.
  • Cavalcade Day takes place on the Monday, on which residents and organisations construct parade floats based upon a particular theme, before walking them though the high street and onto the green. Judging and prize giving takes place up there, as well as games, stalls and burger vans. The Alderney Blowers give a full concert, and there is a car and bike show.
  • Tuesday events may include auditions, Shakespeare in the gardens and sporting activities.
  • Wednesday often includes the daft raft race, though it changes days often to get the right tide. Participants build the wackiest crafts they can think up to sail around two buoys in three great races whilst being pelted with flour bombs, water bombs and hoses from the lifeboat. Although the races are friendly, many attempts at sabotage have been made, which range from standing in the way of launch, to drilling holes in the previous year's winners the night before. In the evening is the Extravaganza - a show of sketches and acts about Alderney, the theme, and inter-island competition.
  • For many, the man-powered flight is the main focus of Thursday's events. Machines vary from the beautifully decorated to ones that might actually fly, although the furthest flying usually fly no more than a metre or two. There is a duck race (of numbered bath ducks). In the evening is the Battle Of The Bands, with both local and visiting bands taking part. It is held in the quarry, where people of all ages go to dance, cheer, and sit around the bonfire.
  • Friday is given over to the sandcastle competition. The competitors are split into age groups - 0-5, 5-7, 7-10, 10-13 and Adult, and time-limits set for each group. The evening is given over to entertainment by the talented. The under-16 talent show (Alderney's Got Talent) is held early on, followed by the Alderney X-Factor at 9 pm.
  • The torchlight procession, on the Saturday evening of the week, sees a parade of people walking through the town centre, carrying torches towards a large bonfire upon the green. The evening ends with a fireworks display and an open-air music event held in a disused quarry. This starts at midnight and finishes at 8:00am the next morning, although it has been known to continue on until 10 am with some nocturnal people, who use the radio for music. Other people make their way to the airport for their flight in the sleeping bags they slept in on the nearest soft floor they could find.

Regular entertainment during Alderney Week includes:

  • The Alderney Blowers play every year. These are a group of musicians who fly from England every year to play throughout Alderney Week.
  • Live music, dance acts and the very popular pig-races

Miss Alderney

Miss Alderney is chosen during the Easter Holiday weekend each year at a public event held at the Island Hall. Online application ensures complete anonymity until the winner is announced. Miss Alderney is chosen by a panel of judges made up by non-residents/holidaymakers.

Alderney Annual Motor Sprint and Hill climb

  • Every year in mid September Alderney hosts a motorsport weekend which is organized and run by the Guernsey Kart and Motor Club. The event has been running for over 20 years. This event proves very popular with mainly Guernsey drivers who come over to Alderney in their high powered cars, motorbikes, sidecars and karts. This event is not just open to Guernsey residents but anyone who has a racing license etc. Details can be found on the .[18] Guernsey Kart and Motor Club website.
  • Race vehicles are transported to Alderney on Alderney Shipping's Ship a couple of days before the events. On the Friday the Sprint is held at the normally public roads of Fort Corbelets in the east of the island. The road is closed for the day while the event is on and then re opened at night. The following day a Hill Climb is held at Fort Tourgis in the west of the island. This again is normally a public road which is again closed for the day. Both events are very fast and very competitive and much loved by the drivers. Many spectators travel from Guernsey to cheer on their friends and family. Many local Alderney people watch as the closed roads have vehicles racing at high speed where normally speed limits of 35 mph apply.
  • Saturday evening, once the days racing has finished has an award ceremony where drivers are presented with trophies for their 2 days hard racing. This is also a good chance to relax and unwind.

Alderney Performing Arts Festival

This annual festival began in 2013, and features music, dance, theatre, etc.

Alderney Literary Festival

This festival began in March 2015, featuring talks and other events relating to historical fiction and non-fiction. It is organized by the Alderney Literary Trust.

Alderney Stones

In April 2011, sculptor Andy Goldsworthy completed a project called Alderney Stones, commenced in 2008, in which 11 large dried-earth spheres were placed at different sites on the island. The intention is that each stone will gradually erode, at different speeds depending on the location, and in some cases revealing objects buried inside.[19] Goldsworthy has stated that he selected Alderney as "It seems to have a strong sense of layered past and a wide variety of locations in a small area."[20]


Alderney is served by Alderney Airport. There are several flights each day from Southampton, Jersey (via Guernsey) and Guernsey, with links to many parts of the United Kingdom and Europe. Aurigny Air Services serves the island with Britten-Norman Trislanders and Dornier Do 228s.

Boats sail regularly between the island and France, and to the other Channel Islands. A high-speed passenger ferry is operated in summer by the French company Manche Iles Express to Diélette in the commune of Flamanville, Manche in France, and to St Peter Port, Guernsey. Weekly freight services, also carrying passengers, are operated by Alderney Shipping to Poole and St Peter Port. A 12-passenger boat, the Lady Maris II, operates regular services to Cherbourg, Sark and St Peter Port.[21] Alderney is 72.5 mi from St Malo and 70.3 mi from Poole.

There are also frequent boat trips available. Mainbrayce, a chandler's, provides water-taxi services and water and fuel to visiting yacht crews. This can get quite hectic during the peak months of June, July and August as nearly 30,000 yacht crew members visit this harbour every year.

Due to the island's size, vehicular transport is often unnecessary, although taxis, cars and bicycles are used. The Alderney Railway is the only remaining railway in the Channel Islands providing a timetabled public service, with scheduled trains to the lighthouse during the summer and special occasions such as Easter and Christmas. The railway brings a number of tourists to the island each year in the form of railway enthusiasts. During the summer season, there is an occasional bus service around the island.

Alderney allows people to ride motorbikes and mopeds without helmets and drive cars without seatbelts, but it is compulsory for under 18s to wear helmets. The international vehicle registration code is GBA.

Healthcare and emergency services


The St John Alderney Ambulance Service operates the ambulance service on the island, and is staffed by volunteers. It has served Alderney since 1952 and is registered as a private company.[22] Patients are transferred to the Mignot Memorial Hospital in St Anne, and any having major complications are then transferred to Guernsey or Southampton by the Aurigny Air Services on a 24-hour emergency basis. In the event of bad weather preventing an air evacuation the transfer is achieved with the aid of the RNLI lifeboat service. However, there is currently no paramedic service available on the island.

Fire Service

The Alderney Voluntary Fire Brigade has a crew of 10 volunteer firefighters, and a fleet of one water tender (with ladder), two further water carriers and also one Land Rover Defender. A new station was officially opened by Lt.-General Sir John Foley, the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, on 20 October 2004. Located near Braye Harbour, it gives an average response time of just 9 minutes and includes four appliance bays, a workshop, kit room, mess and a training room. The Alderney Airport Fire and Rescue Service is sometimes called to help with larger conflagrations.


Because of Alderney's low crime rate,[23] day-to-day policing of Alderney is provided by a team of five locally based officers from the Guernsey Police, consisting of a sergeant in charge, two constables, and two special constables.[24] They are assisted by visiting constables from Guernsey on a regular basis. The police station is in QEII Street.


The Alderney lifeboat station was established in 1869, closed in 1884 and re-established in 1985 by the RNLI, which serves Alderney with its all-weather Trent class lifeboat Roy Barker I.

Search and rescue

Search and rescue services are provided by Channel Islands Air Search, which uses a Britten-Norman Islander to search large areas of water using infrared cameras and a number of other technologies.[25] Formed in 1980, it is staffed entirely by volunteers and is based in Guernsey. When a major search is underway, the French coastguard and the Royal Navy are often also involved, co-ordinated by the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Jobourg, France.

Numismatic history

In popular culture

  • In the song "Alderney" on her 2013 album The Sea Cabinet, Gwyneth Herbert tells the story of the sudden evacuation of Alderney's inhabitants during the Second World War and the irrevocable changes introduced during the Nazi occupation of the island.[26][27]


Overlooking Braye Bay
Braye Beach
Fort Clonque - Burhou in the background
Fort Clonque
North-west coast - Fort Clonque in the background
The inner harbour, breakwater designed by James Walker in the background

See also



  1. ^ "Census - Press Release". Alderney. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  2. ^ Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français, 1966; Customs, Ceremonies & Traditions of the Channel Islands, Lemprière, 1976, ISBN 0-7091-5842-4
  3. ^ Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français, 1966
  4. ^ a b c d A Visitor's Guide to Guernsey, Alderney and Sark", Victor Coysh, 1983 ISBN 0-86190-084-7
  5. ^ Alderney ruin found to be Roman fort 25 November 2011 accessed 7 December 2011
  6. ^ ALDERNEY’S ‘SHORE FORT’. Nicholas Hogben."My best guess is that the outer structure was constructed in the second half of the third century or later by the Roman navy around an existing combined harbour master's and revenue office, perhaps to protect it, and hence the island, from the ‘pirates’ that Carausius hunted." THE ASSOCIATION FOR ROMAN ARCHAEOLOGY Newsletter no. 23, not dated.
  7. ^ Davenport, T.G., Partridge CW, "The Victorian Fortification of Alderney", Fort (Fortress Study Group), 1980, (8), pp21-47
  8. ^ a b Portrait of the Channel Islands, Lemprière, London 1970
  9. ^ The German Occupation of the Channel Islands, Charles G. Cruickshank, The Guernsey Press, (1975) ISBN 0-902550-02-0
  10. ^ The Jews in the Channel Islands During the German Occupation 1940-1945, by Frederick Cohen, President of the Jersey Jewish Congregation,
  11. ^ Noted in The Occupation, by Guy Walters, ISBN 0-7553-2066-2
  12. ^ [2] Archived January 17, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Court Of Alderney
  14. ^ The blonde hedgehogs of Alderney. accessed 7 December 2011
  15. ^ "Pictured: The rare baby hedgehog who has blonde prickles | Mail Online". 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  16. ^ "Channel hopping: also "On Sark, they mainly gossip, play bridge and drink - on Alderney they just drink" (personal recollection)Lucy Golding finds Alderney is a world away from commercial-centric holidays". Oxford Mail. 
  17. ^ "Alderney Journal". Alderney Journal. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  18. ^ "Guernsey Kart and Motor Club". 
  19. ^ "Alderney Stones". Alderney Stones. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  20. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy « Arts & Islands". Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  21. ^ "Visit Alderney: How to Travel to Alderney by Air or Sea". Alderney - The Channel Island. 
  22. ^ "States of Alderney Emergency Services". States of Alderney. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "Moving to the tax haven of Alderney, Channel Islands". This is Money. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  24. ^ The establishment is listed here by name and rank.
  25. ^ "Channel Islands Air Search". Channel Islands Air Search. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  26. ^ Sebastian Scotney (15 May 2013). "Podcast: A Few Minutes with... Gwyneth Herbert". London Jazz News. London Jazz. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  27. ^ Gwyneth Herbert (2013). "Alderney Original Demo".  


  • The Alderney Story: 1939-1949, Michael St John Packe and Maurice Dreyfus (1966?) "The Alderney Society and Museum decided shortly after its inception in 1966 to collect all reliable reminiscences whether written or verbal lest with the passage of time they would be lost."
  • Alderney Place Names, Royston Raymond, 1999 Alderney ISBN 0-9537127-0-2
  • Noms de lieux de Normandie, René Lepelley, 1999 Paris ISBN 2-86253-247-9

External links

  • Alderney official site
  • Visitor information
  • Alderney language
  • For further information on Alderney concentration camps, see
    • Christine O'Keefe, Appendix F: Concentration Camps: Endlösung – The Final Solution, retrieved 2009-06-06 
    • Matisson Consultants, Aurigny ; un camp de concentration nazi sur une île anglo-normande (English: Alderney, a Nazi concentration camp on an island Anglo-Norman) (in Français), retrieved 2009-06-06 

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